Being charitable has never been easier: All you have to do to participate in today's Dining Out for Life event is eat at any of nearly 300 metro-area restaurants -- not just the ritzy places, either -- and at least 25 percent of your meal ticket will go to Project Angel Heart, the non-profit organization providing meals to people living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. Whether you choose fish tacos or foie gras, your meal will bring both appetite fulfillment and a sense of largesse away from the table. To plan ahead, go to www.projectangelheart.org for a complete list of participating eateries. For information about Project Angel Heart, call 303-830-0202.
Well-dressed Denverites (and unrequited Sex and the City devotees) will gladly put their best Manolos forward at tonight's Shoe Ball, a fundraiser for the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver. Patrons will be awarded prizes for the best shoes in several categories, including "Shoes for the Venice Biennial," "Shoes for Meeting a Famous Artist," and so on. Party-goers will also be able to bid on auction items (including an opportunity to be pictured in artist Stephen Batura's mural that's set to grace the new Ellie Caulkins Opera House when it opens this fall) or enter a drawing to win a shoebox decorated with artwork by one of fifty contributing artists. The leather-fest begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. at a tony private Polo Grounds location. Admission is $60 to $75 ($250 to be eligible for the shoebox drawing); for details and reservations, call 303-298-7554.
Friday, April 29
Not to be outdone, that other venerable art institution with a new building in the works, the Denver Art Museum, will once again host its popular two-day DAM Uncorked "all wine all the time" benefit, starting tonight. Because Daniel Libeskind's Hamilton wing at the DAM is still emerging, Uncorked takes place this year at the new Belmar Events Center Complex, 405 South Teller Street in Lakewood. Festivities run from 6 to 9 p.m. and include a grand wine-tasting and a 6:15 seminar, "Old World vs. New World Wines," with sommelier Jeff Tufford; the fun continues with tomorrow's Vintners Reserve Party and Auction, from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $60 to $75 for tonight's tasting ($30 for chivalrous designated drivers), $25 for the seminar and $160 for the Saturday-night tasting and auction; call 720-913-0039 or go to www.denverartmuseum.org/uncorked for reservations.
The notion that there's something hiding under the bed at night starts early in life, and, well, does it ever really go away? That idea provides a starting point for 3rd Law Dance Theatre's new piece "There's a Party Under My Bed and I Think I'm the Hostess," a work that puts our night fears in motion while being performed both beneath and on top of a bed. That and "Symptoms of Fashion," which comments on our modern obsession with beauty, make up the company's spring concert, Iconoclashtic, being performed Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., beginning tonight and continuing through May 7 at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder. Tickets range from $13 to $17; call 303-938-8656 or visit www.thirdlaw.org.
Saturday, April 30
Kite-flying could well be the true sport of spring: There's no better herald of the balmy, breezy season than a colored triangle floating against the blue, tail sailing lazily on the wind. It makes a kid of all of us, and it's a fine metaphor for today's Kites for Kids event, a family fundraiser for Invest in Kids. Learn everything you need to know about flying kites; play games and compete in field-day events; meet sports celebrities; eat a Chipotle burrito; and get your face painted, today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lowry's Crescent Park, Eighth Avenue and Roslyn Street. Admission is a minimum donation of $10; call 303-839-1808 or go to www.iik.org for details.
Sunday, May 1
The rites of spring are coming fast and furious these days. Valhalla will unfold on earth once again when the Cherry Creek Fresh Market opens for the season. It offers one of the best-tasting and well-peopled summer pastimes in town every Sunday in the Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot at First Avenue and University Boulevard. While your best bets for fresh produce this time of year include asparagus, rhubarb, salad greens and possibly strawberries, this favorite of all urban farmers' markets doesn't stop there: You'll also find fresh-cut flowers and bedding plants, herbs, cheeses, pastries and breads, finger food and more, with plenty of free samples being doled out at booths throughout the market. Talk about your free lunch! But don't forget to support your vendors: Shop from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., preferably early, when the buys are fresher and more abundant. Visit weekly through the end of October. Call 303-442-1837 for more information.
Monday, May 2
Take an interesting side trip through the West with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark when Plants of the Lewis and Clark Expedition debuts at the Denver Botanic Gardens for a summer run. The show opens in anticipation of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's big exhibit, L&C, which starts next week. Plant-lover and man of science Thomas Jefferson asked that the explorers bring back drawings and documentation of the plants they found growing along their route. An inside display is based on those records, and the exhibit includes a self-guided walk through the gardens for a look at some living examples. See the exhibit in the DBG's Gates Garden Court, 1005 York Street, today through July 31; call 720-865-3500 or log on to www.botanicgardens.org for information.